Chapter II: Niseko

April 25, 2022 

If I tried to think of all the “firsts” starting the company would require and write a list of them, OMARI would not exist. I’ll be writing the list forever.

Good thing I’m not a planner, I trust my heart. 

My entrepreneurial method is to spot the end goal as if it’s a ship I am supposed to sail on, which has already left port. I try to get on board by sprinting to the pier and jumping off the end, dropping my luggage, restraint, and fear into the water.  

OMARI is passionate about the sensual feel of leather, with padded quilting topstitched delicately in bold patterns, wrapped by the softness of merino and cashmere. We are in the business of casual elegance. Where form follows function molding itself to your body as you flow over the powder. Cranking turns down Aspen Highlands double diamond Steeplechase to the Cloud Nine lift, later enjoying a glass of champagne at an après dance party. By the way, OMARI is the world’s only champagne-proof leather (trust me, we tested it).

Pushing the envelope means you sometimes belly-flop…painfully. The pursuit of design excellence takes guts. Producing fashion that will transcend today is a search for meaning and essence, truth and simplicity. Superior designs announce individuality and foster feelings of belonging at the same time. They walk the razor’s edge. With leather, there is a connection going back hundreds of generations, and every piece is unique. Selecting and matching pieces, hand-cutting and stitching the fabric. It’s an art form that makes each garment singular and special. 

Today one of my best friends invited me to Japan for his family vacation over Christmas. He’s been singing the praises of Niseko for ten years. Located on the island of Hokkaido, Niseko ski areas average 15 meters (590 inches) of snow every winter. Lets just say, at Niseko you have an excellent chance of being up to your ass in powder.  

It’s not just phenomenal skiing. The best food and drink in the world come from there: king crab, snow crab, sushi-grade fish, sea urchins, squid, scallops, and oh so much more. 

“You gotta go, Pete; it will be the trip of a lifetime. And with a fluent Japanese speaker making all the arrangements, it will be just great. Everybody there speaks English anyway, but my brother can be your brand ambassador and help you with skiwear sales calls.” He texted an article about the Japanese government starting to ease travel restrictions. One could now apply for a tour and go with a guide. 

OMARI debuted barely four months ago at the invitation-only LUXE show in Denver and received U.S. retail orders in January. It will be six months before the production is finished and delivered to stores, and I decided to travel to Japan in hopes of entering the Asian market. I made the flying leap off the dock and landed!...on a rubber raft shooting the Colorado River rapids. 

“This is going to be a big year for OMARI! We are already planning to exhibit at ISPO, the world’s largest sports show in Munich. And Sales is talking about opportunities in Switzerland.”  

“Let me talk more with my brother about dates the resort has available and we should book tickets next week...”

March 23, 2023 

Being slightly out of control is the sweet spot where I thrive. Quick reflexes help me take on complex challenges that get me thinking on my feet and working right to the deadline. This morning I rollerbladed down the Greenway trail and got into a zone. I was grinning from ear to ear, waving and shooting my fist up in the air shouting encouragement to walkers and bikers and having them cheer back at me.   

“On your left!”, I called out speeding past two mammoth German Shepherds in army camo harnesses and their master.  After eight quick miles, I turned back so I could make the weekly call with our Branding team.  “You rock! Red, white, and blue Bicycle Guy.  “Way to go! Walking Girl in flesh tones.  I love to observe people and have a photographic memory of clothing.  I get completely lost all the time because I focus so hard on the details that matter to me, I forget where I was going. 

There is the two-dog Army again. “Hi!”  Wave… Oh, no.  Those dogs are not leashed.  The closest one breaks away from his human and starts running at me.  Swerve, pivot, and jump off the pavement onto the grass shoulder.  Head-tuck, shoulder down onto the hard ground, roll onto a hip, skate wheels slide in a cloud of dust.   

“Are you OK? Asks camo Man as he grabs the Shepherd by the muzzle and scolds him. 

I assume he was just doing his job, trying to keep me from stepping on an IED…” yes, I’m fine.” 

That was a RUSH.  Dogs are fun until they decide to bite.  Then, not so much.

OMARI - Handcrafted Leather for the High Born Spirits